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The Strategy Room

Public Affairs

Words matter. Choose them carefully.

Words Matter GOP Debate

This statement should be hung from the wall of every PR and public affairs professional as a simple reminder that the words you use to describe, define or deride something are long lasting and can have unintended consequences. Sounds like commonsense, right? Tell that to Ted Cruz. Cruz’s use of the term “NY values” on… Continue Reading Words matter. Choose them carefully.

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Two Reasons Trump and Sanders Are Masters of Political Communication

Masters of Political Communication

The presidential primary campaign is one of the most thrilling and interesting seasons, particularly for public affairs communicators. But this year has been an exception. It’s not just thrilling, but utterly mind blowing. Who could have predicted that a billionaire businessman with a populist slant and affinity for inflammatory rhetoric would become the Republican front-runner?… Continue Reading Two Reasons Trump and Sanders Are Masters of Political Communication

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Virtual Reality, Elections and Engagement: Looking ahead to 2016

Crystal Ball. Predictions for 2016

The late, great David Carr of the New York Times was gazing into a crystal ball in 2014 when he wrote about the return of the email newsletter. The newsletter hit the big time in 2015 thanks to high profile examples like Kobe Bryant’s retirement statement in The Players’ Tribune and Jennifer Lawrence discussing the… Continue Reading Virtual Reality, Elections and Engagement: Looking ahead to 2016

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A Return to Regular Order Means New Opportunities for Communicators

Speaker Ryan (left) shakes hands as he ascends to office following the retirement of Speaker John Boehner (right).

The House of Representatives is under new management and its newly elected Speaker, Paul Ryan, has pledged a return to regular order. But what does that mean? It’s been so long since the House adhered to its standing rules and policies that many of my colleagues in Washington haven’t actually seen a Congress operate as… Continue Reading A Return to Regular Order Means New Opportunities for Communicators

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Public Relations on Eight Wheels

Roller derby game

A major competitive sporting event is happening this weekend, and there’s a good chance you haven’t heard about it. It won’t draw the huge crowds of the World Series, yet it’s one of the fastest-growing sports in the world: the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby championship. What does this have to do with public relations?… Continue Reading Public Relations on Eight Wheels

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Media’s Narrative on Amtrak Misses the Bigger Picture

Amtrak train

It is well known that our roads, bridges ports and railways are becoming increasingly antiquated and structurally unsound. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 report card gave America’s infrastructure a D+, noting it would take an investment of $3.6 trillion by 2020 to make things right. The fact that national news outlets devote so… Continue Reading Media’s Narrative on Amtrak Misses the Bigger Picture

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Tired of Potholes? Here is the Strategy to Fix Your (and Every Other) Road

Mike Wollery, a maintenance and equipment staff member from the 55th Civil Engineer Squadron, removes broken concrete from a pot hole near the corner of SAC Boulevard and Peacekeeper Drive here May 6. The Civil Engineer Squadron is working hard to repair the roads on Offutt after a brutal winter. (U.S. Air Force Photo By/Josh Plueger)

With winter’s end our annual spring tradition is upon us: I’m talking about pothole-palooza Each year drivers, mass transit riders, and pedestrians are rattled, bounced around and inconvenienced by the seemingly larger number of potholes being formed in our aging roadways. This annual tradition is joined by a chorus of voices asking, “Where do my taxes… Continue Reading Tired of Potholes? Here is the Strategy to Fix Your (and Every Other) Road

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Tips to Combat Sensationalism in Science Reporting

Bigfoot

Anyone engaged in public relations at the nexus of consumer chemicals and public health bears the battle scars earned from an immensely volatile news cycle. That cycle is sustained by an endless supply of research coming out of universities and paid consultants on everything from the cancer preventing qualities of turmeric to the immediate threat… Continue Reading Tips to Combat Sensationalism in Science Reporting

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Takeaways from the Midterm Elections

Capital Landscape

Across the land, professional prognosticators, pundits, and street corner experts are opining on the effects and lessons of the 2014 election cycle. Being none of those I still feel compelled to add a few observations. There is no doubt the Republican victories were more complete than observers estimated so there is no use in rehashing… Continue Reading Takeaways from the Midterm Elections

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Lessons from Twitter

photo

We learn lessons every day from Twitter: things brands do well, things politicians and celebrities do wrong. But this isn’t that kind of post. We learned a LOT from Twitter, the company, today. Specifically, from Sean Evins (@Evins), Twitter’s Partnerships Manager for Government & Politics. Sean was kind enough to visit our D.C. headquarters this… Continue Reading Lessons from Twitter

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